This weekend I had a really exciting time during the rugby match verses Radford University. This was my first time getting to watch a rugby match so it was interesting to see how plays and tackles actually happen compared to how it happens during practice. One thing that I found interesting was that as an athletic trainer I was able to run out onto the field while the game was still in play. This is different than any other sport. With this rule it made it important to do a scene safety evaluation before running out onto the field. The first injury of the game was definitely the most exciting. There were two Radford guys going in for a tackle on one of our player who pulled a spin move and got out of the way. The two Radford guys smacked faces and immediately fell to the ground. It was scary because one guy wasn’t moving at all and the other was just barely moving. At first it definitely seemed like a cervical spine injury. Upon inspection there was blood everywhere. The certified athletic trainer and I went to the guy who wasn’t moving at all. Once I saw that he was verbal and moving and the certified was handling him I went to the other guy. I saw that he had bit through his lip and I put my gloves on. As I was pulling gauze out of my kit to apply, the player was screaming at the other guy saying, “shake it off man, we need to get back into this game” and tried to run off. I had to be very firm and tell him to come back and that he wasn’t going to play anymore. It was evident that he needed stitches. The other player who wasn’t moving finally was stable enough to walk off the field. I was instructed to call 911 once I got to the sideline because we hadn’t been able to control the bleed from his two-and-a-half-inch laceration on his forehead. I gave the operator my location and stated the issue, but just as I did it the player’s parents came and were able to take him to the emergency room. Before they left we were able to control the bleed. It stopped because once he sat up blood flow from his face was lower. We sent both players to the emergency room for stitches. The rest of the game was just ankle sprains and cramps. I got to run out onto the field 5 or 6 times. It was exhilarating. I really enjoy the level of intensity of this game. This experience allowed me to see something I wouldn’t typically in any other sports. It also required me to act quickly which tested my ability to manage injuries under pressure. This weekend inspired me to want to work with sports similar as a career such as hockey, wrestling, or boxing.
At this moment, my plans for after graduation are either to go to grad school or go find a job. I still need to add schools to my list to apply for, but I really want to go to University of North Carolina. I have read about their post graduate program and it seems like a program I really want to be a part of. Some things I want to do in the near future is get a campus tour of Chapel Hill and have a conversation with the program director. In addition to University of North Carolina I am looking into Pennsylvania State University and Possibly at University of Tennessee. I need to do more research on post graduate programs in areas that I would like to be. So far these three schools are the only ones I am considering. I have looked at requirements for these grad schools and I meet the criteria for most of them, with the exception of a GRE score. Something I am doing right now to prepare me for grad school is that I am trying to boost my GPA. Right now I have a 3.550 which is good, but when I start applying I would like to have a 3.6 or higher overall GPA. I don’t think GPA is a large determining factor, but if I can get it higher then this would be one more benefit to my application.
My other plan is to go find a job after graduation. This would be the case if I do not go to one of those graduate schools for whatever reason. I would prefer to work in a college or high school setting. I would also like to stay within Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Over the summer I got to travel A LOT of the united states; Through living in and around these areas long enough I have come to find these are just places I enjoy and find comfort in.
Essentially, I will be applying for a few schools and probably double the amount for jobs. I think this will give me a good variety of options so when it comes time to decided what I do after graduating from Emory & Henry I know I will have given myself as many open doors as possible.
In addition to responding to my prompt, this week I had some clinical excitement. This weekend I have been traveling with my golf team. We are at the Bridgewater Invitational. I had just finished a hole when my coach pulls up and asks me to look at one of my teammates hands. He explains she had hit hard behind the ball and she felt her hand pop and they had been icing it. My immediate thought was that she had probably just slightly strained her wrist. Once I finally saw her and looked at her hand I knew it was much worse. I didn’t have enough time to do a thorough eval, but could visibly see a lump on the top of her hand. I manual muscle tested her flexor digitorum which was 1/5. I also took her fingers through passive range of motion, both flexion and extension were 10/10 painful. In my short eval I could only determine she had strained it. I instructed my coach to contact the hosting team’s coach to call the Bridgewater AT to the course. I was surprised because they were able to get an AT to her pretty quickly. She ended up going to an urgent care where they did imaging and determined she tore her flexor retinaculum. Although I am sad my teammate is injured, I’m proud she was able to push through her pain and finish her round. I am also happy I was able to be a part of a first response to an injury at the golf tournament. Although I wasn’t able to do much, I was able to relay enough information to get my teammate the necessary help she needed.
This semester my clinical goals are: I want to get better at therapeutic interventions by being responsible for 3 different rehabs this semester; I want to prepare for the BOC by doing 10 questions from a BOC prep book in my 2 weakest domains when I am in the clinic; I want to remember special test and MMT better by reviewing 5 every time I am in the clinic. So far I have had the most progress with my second goal, I want to prepare for the BOC by doing 10 questions from a BOC prep book in my 2 weakest domains when I am in the clinic. My preceptor, Joe Lynch, has been very helpful in ensuring I accomplish this goal. Every time I am in the clinic I do ten questions and the next time I am in the clinic we review them and do another 10. I think this will help me because researcher shows that having to think about material I have not thought about in a while will actually make me learn it better. My two weakest domains from the practice Board of Certification exam I took were Domain IV, Treatment and Rehabilitation, and V, Organization and Professional Health and Well-Being. Considering I am just now taking the class which covers domain V and I scored 73% correct, I am not too worried about this domain. I really need to review and recover domain IV. This is an important domain not only because it is a large portion of the exam, but it is things I need to know well in order to be a good athletic trainer. My other two goals need to be worked on more. There are a couple athletes I am able to work on often, but I feel like it is not as often as I would like. This just depends on my and the athlete’s schedule. The 2 patients I would like to work with the most are cross country runners. One is a female who had an ACL surgery in high school who complains of tightness throughout her lower chain. Upon inspection, she lacks terminal extension in her surgery leg 3 years post-surgery. So far we have been working on flexibility and activating her VMO to reeducate it to fully extend her leg. This is a patient I have had the most contact with, but often times schedule conflicts happen. Another athlete I would like to work with just is never in the clinic when I can be there. He is experiencing Over training syndrome. I would like to see how this is affecting him and be a part of the rehab process. This is something have never truly dealt with so I think it would be interesting to be a part of. My final goal I just have not got to yet. I think when I run out of questions in the one BOC book I am working on now I will ask Joe to start helping me with this goal. With this goal, I think I just need to be drilled and work hard on not only memorizing the test and how to do them but, really ingraining the important tests into my head so I know which test will be more helpful than not during an evaluation. Overall, I think I am making good early progress on my goals. These are definitely achievable and reasonable things I will accomplish over this semester.
This week included my final preseason as an un-certified athletic trainer. This pre-season was very different for me compared to any other preseason before. This year I came a week late because I was still traveling with DCI’s Oregon Crusaders as they concluded their season. While everyone here was learning advanced techniques and helping out with football, I was keeping 150 band members healthy as they finished their last 3 shows of the year. While I definitely was making good connections and gaining good experience, there was still a part of me that missed being at Emory & Henry for pre-season. It was always super fun to come back and go over emergency techniques. It’s a good time to see how you have improved on those techniques and compare to the previous pre-season.
As a senior I feel very different compared to any year before. Having my summer experience with DCI has taught me so much on how to create good connections with my athletes, how to think quickly to resolve an issue, and most importantly to be confidence in my evaluations and not rely on my preceptor to double check me on everything I do. Not having to be scared of being wrong and having a preceptor correct and check me on everything is liberating. I feel very confident in my skills and my techniques. Of course I still need to learn finesse in some areas, but now after having my experience with DCI I feel confident and excited for my future as an athletic trainer.
I don’t believe three years ago I could have ever predicted how well I would be doing or feeling about being an athletic training student as I do now. My growth as an athletic training student has definitely influenced my interactions with my patients and preceptors. I have many athletes who choose to come to me for specific things because they trust me or they like the way I do something. I also have athletes recognize my good work and my frequency in the clinic. This makes me happy to know I can make an effect on people in a positive way to where they want to come be treated and tell their teammates to come to the clinic as well. As for preceptors, I feel like I have earned a good level of respect. At times it feels almost like the preceptors are my co-workers. They know I am a dependable student and if they need me to help them, I will be there and if I ever need help from them I know I can count on any preceptor to help me.
I am excited to begin this semester and refine my skills as an athletic trainer.
This is where I do my weekly clinical blog assignment. There is either a prompt I am responding to, or I just talk about something exciting I saw during the week.